The civil war in South Sudan has had a devastating impact on civilians. Since 2013, more than 19,000 child soldiers have been recruited to various warring parties - thousands of girls among them.  

Our work in South Sudan is focused on improving the support given to girls returning from armed conflict - something which can often fall short for many.  

Working with UNICEF, we met with dozens of girls in the country this year to hear about their experiences. These interviews, alongside consultations with NGOs, communities and religious leaders, will enable us to develop new practical guidance for child protection actors to strengthen support programmes to former child soldiers.

Following this, we are hoping to start dedicated projects – like those we have in DR Congo – ensuring girls have all the help they need to rebuild their lives.

Sandra Olsson, programme manager at Child Soldiers International: "The children of South Sudan are among the most persecuted in this brutal conflict; exploitation by armed groups remains a shocking reality for thousands.

"Supporting their release and reintegration is an ominous task made even more difficult in such a hostile climate.

"More needs to be done to help communities and civil society recognise these girls, and to work together to change the narrative around perceptions of a ‘child soldier’. In doing so we can ensure that all children are given appropriate, sustained support to improve their reintegration back home."

All donations, however large or small, will ensure more girls returning from armed groups and armed forces in South Sudan receive the support they so vitally need.